Sunday, February 8, 2009

Beginning Steps to My First Garden

Last night I had a lovely dream about sheep. I dreamed I had eight sheep and five of them were pregnant. And they had cute little lambs. It was a homesteading dream, or else I wouldn't have mentioned it in this blog.

You probably know from my blog description that I am a teenager who wants to be a homesteader. If you know what homesteading is, you probably know that most teenagers (at least the ones I know) want to be fashion designers and doctors and actors and authors and veterinarians and brain surgeons and singers, and artists, and archeologists. All those subjects fascinate me, yes, but I want to be a homesteader. I want cows and sheep goats and chickens and a garden and cats and dogs and children on a nice size piece of land in the Rocky Mountains where I can live a life that makes sense to me. Right now I'm learning as much as I can about cooking and sewing and crocheting and other domestic chores as well as more homesteady things like gardening and animal husbandry. Most of my experience in the homesteady things up until now has been book learning and blog reading.

I am still working on that, but now I have decided to plant a garden. I figure now is a good time to start when I have a ton of time on my hands (and I'm graduating this spring even though I just turned seventeen last month, so I'll have even more time on my hands, soon). I don't want to do animals just yet because I'm going to do college and and the job thing before I do the homesteading thing and it's a little difficult to take care of a dog when you're busy with college and all that fun stuff. At least you could leave it home and ask your mom to take care of it (I don't have a dog, just so you know).

My mom really doesn't know the first thing about chickens. She likes cats and tiny dogs. The one time I had her take care of my chickens (because I was at youth conference for four days), she didn't give them any water and they started eating their eggs to compensate. So any animals I have from now on will be at a time I can take care of them. Now back to the subject I'm writing this post on: gardening.

Now is about right to start doing the garden thing. There's never a frost after Mother's Day (ironically, it has sometimes snowed for the last time on Mother's Day and then all melted away and been sunny and just like spring the next day, but it has never broken the rule), so anything I want to start indoors needs to be planted in March or April. Therefore planning is in February (or January if you're really organized and motivated, which I am not under normal circumstances).

I am doing a 20'x30' garden this year. I figure it's a good size. I'll be able to have some variety but not be overwhelmed. Plus it's already fenced off with four feet of chicken wire above the ground and 6-8" buried. And these are the plants I want to grow:
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Herbs (haven't decided which yet, but definitely the kind for pizza/spaghetti sauce)
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Some berries
  • Maybe some flowers
  • etc
This is far from an exhaustive list. It's just kind of a general idea, I may add some plants, I may take away some plants, I'll probably add more details and whatnot. You'll see. I'll post my plans as they develop and become more specific and specialized.

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